Jill Soloway, the showrunner for the transgender-themed Amazon original series Transparent, says the entertainment industry is systematically rigged in favor of white men.
The 49-year-old Emmy-nominated director spoke candidly to a group of female filmmakers in Los Angeles Thursday at the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women, where she offered professional tools on how to “make it” in Hollywood as a woman.
“I’m feeling like there are conversations that took place in Women’s Studies class, feminist circles, ten and twenty years ago. They’re all out in front right now,” Soloway said to an audience of more than 20 of her female counterparts. “Look at Amy Schumer, ‘Broad City,’ what Lena Dunham has done — we are evolving and growing up as a culture and it’s not just about giving more opportunities to women because of a quota.”
I remember three or four years ago being interviewed and saying, ‘Men aren’t doing this on purpose. It’s not their fault. Nobody’s trying to keep women down.’ But something I’ve recognized over the past few years is, I’ve really begun to listen to conversations about implicit bias and privilege.
It very simply makes the world easier for white cis [cisgender, a non-Trans individual] males to have entertainment written by white cis males, where white cis males are the protagonists and the world revolves around them. That’s privilege. Writing is propaganda for the self.
Due to recent studies, which show women continue to be vastly underrepresented in almost every aspect of the film industry, Soloway believes it is an amazing time to propagate change.
“Let’s sue Hollywood! Sue the motherf*ckers. Sue all of them! It’s been a big week–women speaking up and holding hands,” she said in reference to an announcement that the ACLU has launched an investigation to target gender discrimination in Hollywood.
“Yes…things are changing,” she added.
Furthermore, Soloway believes in affirmative action, a formula is very simple to her:
That white cis male gaze, they’re like a lifeguard chair, they’re in like a watch tower, way up high naming things and they’re not gonna give up those look-out spots easily. In fact, most of the time they won’t even cop to the fact that they have that privilege.
Instead of waiting for the industry to change or waiting for the guys to change, let’s storm the gates, grab hands with each other, run like Red Rover to those lifeguard chairs, snarl at the bases of those watch towers like starving beast-dogs, boost each other up those f*cking things and tear those motherf*ckers down, like vile lady-dogs.
Soloway also said she believes in the power and value of feminine energy, which she says women should not have to conceal in the workplace.
“New rules: you can cry at work. In fact, you must cry at work. In fact, if you’re going to make a movie, do me a favor: it’s “Bring Your Tears To Work Day.” Or while you’re at it, just Bring Your Pussy To Work Day. Hashtag #bringyourpussytoworkday, guys. Tweet it out. You will need your pussy if you’re gonna direct,” she said.
“I will remind you that you don’t need a female body to have a womb. You can have a consensual pussy if you wish. You don’t need to be born with a female body, you just need the idea of a womb, The idea of a pussy… I do, I tell people to shoot from their pussies, I tell editors to cut from their pussies,” she continued.
In closing, Soloway reminded women the only way to ensure progression in the entertainment industry, besides “suin’ everybody,” is by forming an alliance of louder, riskier, and wilder feminine energies than ever before.
Read the full manuscript of Jill Soloway’s comments here.